Worst Case Discharge Exercise – Harbor Island Terminal

Worst Case Discharge Exercise -

On March 15th and 16th, 2023, NJR supported and executed a Tier III, Worst Case Discharge exercise in Elliot Bay, Seattle, Washington for a major oil company client. A diverse group of stakeholders participated in the exercise design and on the fully integrated Incident Management Team (IMT).

The first day of the exercise focused on the initial reactive phase of the response and formation of a Unified Command (UC). The UC included the Coast Guard, Makah Tribal Council, Washington Dept. of Ecology, and the City of Seattle. The newly formed UC held their Command and Objectives meetings setting the stage for the remainder of the exercise. On Day 2, the full IMT completed an Incident Action Plan (IAP).

The exercise met all stated objectives and successfully demonstrated Seattle Harbor Island Terminal’s commitment to continually prepare and that it is ready to respond, including:

  1. The client’s commitment to preparedness and validated its Facility Response Plan and Incident Management Team capabilities under a worst-case scenario
  2. The ability to implement a smooth transition process from an Initial Response Team to an oncoming Unified Command. Staffing and drill design tested the ability to effectively exchange information from on command to another.
  3. The IMT was well-trained, experienced, and well-versed in area and regional plans and policies.
  4. The IMT was professional and demonstrated leadership when adjusting roles and staffing assignments for a real-world incident that occurred during the time of drill play.

The exercise design was based on the company’s objectives and internal standards as well as for compliance with federal and state regulatory requirements. Notably, the State of Washington has very specific requirements for the in-State Oil and Gas industry. All objectives and standards were met. Agencies noted the strong coordination in drill design, and that the high-level of effort put forth in preparing for the drill was highly evident throughout the exercise.

The entire Team was fully vested in the training, coaching, sharing, learning, and teambuilding during the week where the company’s license to operate depended on the successful completion of all stated objectives.


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